“Leaning in” delivers for women even at 36 weeks
Puffy ankles, aching back, round the clock exhaustion and an anticipation that worse is yet to come. Is that how you imagine being pregnant in the third trimester, a month before the baby is born?
Well, all of this may be true. But with a bit of planning, team work and co-operation, it’s possible to maintain performance even at the later stages of pregnancy.
At Enterprise, there are more and more stories of women performing at the peak of their ability even when they are expecting a baby.
Based in Northern Ireland, Business Regional Sales Manager (BRSM) Nichola Cash is one example of how it is possible to deliver outstanding results right up to a maternity leave and to depart on a remarkable high.
Competition between the BRSMs is fierce - every month the battle is on to see who can close the most deals and grow their existing accounts by the largest amount. The spreadsheet laying out the whole team’s achievements is the mostly hotly awaited document of the month.
At the end of the year, after 12 months of smart working and careful planning, Nichola Cash found herself at the top of the league table, with an outstanding achievement. Her 12 month average new business revenue was already well above the company average. However, one month before she went on maternity leave the figure almost doubled at around three times the UK average. Plus her growth from existing business was over 70%.
To achieve the new business revenue figure, Nichola closed several significant accounts. In a bid to achieve high growth on existing accounts, Nichola engaged the Northern Ireland team, attending the monthly branch managers’ meeting and coaching employees on how to close business themselves.
She shared her success with other team members: they focused on closing smaller accounts allowing Nichola to concentrate on larger business.
Nichola left to begin her maternity leave in October and is planning to take a full year. However, she has remained connected to the business while she is away. She continues to keep in contact with her department and is attending a Northern Ireland Civil Service exhibition on one of her keeping in touch days.
As GM for Scotland and Northern Ireland, Diane Mulholland is possibly as proud of Nichola’s achievement as she is herself: “Nichola is a wonderful example of the fact that with planning and team work, it’s possible to juggle the needs of preparing for a new family member with achieving exceptional results at work. From personal experience I know that as a company, Enterprise is very supportive of the needs of women during pregnancy. There are circumstances when it’s impossible to keep working when you’re expecting a baby. Every pregnancy is different.
“What Nichola’s story shows is that when things go to plan, there’s nothing stopping women from being pregnant and driving their personal career goals if they want to. Nichola balanced her personal achievement with up-skilling the branch team by showing them how to close business. Building her personal brand in this way she has shown she is a real team player, as well as an exceptional achiever.”
Regional business development manager Paul McCorkell agrees: “Nichola has shown equal commitment to her career and to her family. She stayed completely focused at work - and now she’s taking a full year off to be completely focused at home. She has remained engaged and interested in the business the entire time she has been on maternity leave, planning her activity in a way that has worked for her and for the business. She’s a great example of why it’s always good to ‘lean in’, even when you’re about to have a baby.”